As I think about what’s ahead in 2019, it’s hard not to reflect on the last few years. God has been birthing a change in me and my husband’s life. This started after we vacationed in Ireland and England several years ago. That vacation was a great opportunity for both seeing new sites and connecting with family and friends who live in Europe. We also met a couple who live and work in Galway.
Yet, when we arrived home, it was not where would we go for the next trip that occupied our minds. It troubled my husband (Tom) that there appeared to be so few options for going to church in Tralee, the home of his Irish ancestors. As he pondered the dilemma, God put on his heart that he could do something to change the situation.
This seemed like a huge white canvas waiting to be painted, with us having no idea of what the picture was supposed to be. Originally, we thought we were supposed to go back in the fall of 2018, but that didn’t happen. When Tom prayed about all this, he felt the response was, “That’s okay, I’ll wait.” We became more earnest about discovering what this mission is supposed to be.
It’s been several years of praying and working through ‘life’ here where we live. The big white canvas contains a few broad sweeping strokes at this time. It is nowhere near a clear image. I laugh because it seems like we get insight and details only as we move forward, putting one foot in-front of the other on a path which leads back to Tralee; on a path which will provide opportunities to share God’s love; to help people understand God’s love is vast and wide and most importantly for them.
You may ask, how will we accomplish that? Certainly, through prayer and God’s guidance. Tom will work with a pastor in a nearby community, building their small group ministries. We’ll both reach out in Tralee to people both in and out of the church, to help them develop an understanding of God’s love that is deeper than the hurts and hardships previously imposed by governments and the church. This is not a one time in and out mission trip. We expect we’ll spend two to three months a year in Ireland, establishing long-term relationships with people. Currently, it will just be Tom and I, but over time I expect others may take up the mantle and also spend a couple months at a time there.
Recently I heard, “You’re living the dream.” Somehow the statement didn’t ring true for me. Living the dream implies a perfect life with no problems or concerns; and I don’t live a perfect life. In fact, I know no one who does, and my experience has proven that talking about the negative aspects of life doesn’t do much to improve the situation. As I pondered the statement, I realized if I changed the proclamation to “I’m living my dreams” I resonated with this view. My current reality involves seeing many of my old dreams happening. This reality didn’t happen overnight, nor did it happen on my time-schedule. In fact, much of my reality holds dreams I’ve carried for decades upon decades; some are dreams I’d previously abandoned; put on the shelf or assumed I could never accomplish.
I’m astonished when I look back and remember the birth of these dreams and realize they are now part of my life. Those thoughts cause me to smile. Then I overhear people say they have stopped dreaming, and it makes my heart sad. I’ve learned some things require more time to percolate before they come to fruition; some things require more work or effort; and then there’re the elements which come together because of a blessing or gift being bestowed upon you. Those things that are passions within your heart and mind are frequently the things that make your heart beat quicker; they put a bounce in your step; a smile on your face; and are often the things that allow you to realize your life impacts others.
You may have been created to fulfill those aspirations. Hold tight to the ability to dream. Recognize you may need to refine some of your desires or think in a larger time frame. But don’t give up on having dreams.
Are you holding dreams in your heart? Do you have people in your life who encourage you to dream?
This morning while reading “writing” material, I discovered an article on crisis management and how that affects writers.
Oh, the events in life that affect a writer, and how those same experiences impact creativity or the ability to put words to paper. Perhaps I should say, inability to put words to paper.
As I pondered the article, I realized I can exercise crisis management during those seasons when the words seem to have died. In fact, I recognized unwittingly I was actually doing just that. Instead of working on my next book, I found myself absorbed in other writing. I practiced what I call “mental health” writing. Life itself had presented various writing assignments I needed to complete for marketing a couple up-coming author events.
I don’t know what works for you, but for me, words are the answer to healing, to dealing with a crisis, to life. I can smile, knowing I’ll be back to working on that book project soon.
What do you do when life throws you a curve ball and you feel you’ve lost your creative edge?
I completed Flynn Tales, and it’s available on Amazon. The book contains stories that Tom’s Grandmother and his Uncle Jimmy wrote in 1954 and 1935/36. Additionally, it provides an inside look at travel and culture from those times. I found the differences in attitudes of travel fascinating. The stories confirmed for me things I’ve believed in relation to “culture.” To understand a culture, one must understand the history of the people. History, over time is what creates culture. Some of my impressions of these cultures matched his grandmother’s perspective although many years lapsed between when she formed her opinions and I, mine. This book provides an insight into the life of an American businessman and his family during these years in our history.
If you’re a Flynn descendant, you may learn things concerning some of your relatives. If you’re a student of life like me, you’ll find interesting tidbits relative to how Americans traveled, how they made efforts to connect with other Americans while abroad, and how they viewed traveling and life.
Putting these writings together and editing them was a fun and interesting project. It gave me insight into people I didn’t know, but who impacted my husband’s parents and thus him. But I also found commonalities in how they traveled with stories of others who traveled during these same times.
Enjoy the story. After reading the book, I’d appreciate you leaving comments or reviews on Amazon or my blog site.
I took this photo was from the dining-room window the other morning. Those are hummingbirds, though, because of the frenzied movements of these birds, one might think they were viewing a beehive. This is the annual feeding frenzy before these little creatures fly south to a warmer climate. If this visual isn’t enough reminder of the changing seasons, the audible increase from the crickets sings the same message. Years ago, an older gentleman told my husband that when the crickets get loud listen carefully for they are singing, “Winter’s coming, winter’s coming.”
I’m sure that’s true, but before it arrives I hope to enjoy autumn – my favorite time of the year. What’s your favorite season?
Several years ago, when I started writing what was to become “Dream Glasses,” I wanted to stage much of the story in a Parisian Bakery. My storybook bakery was to be located across the street from a neighborhood park. Using the internet, I found Ble Sucré in the 12th arrondissement met these requirements. The bakery in my book was renowned for making Madeleines.
Can you imagine my surprise when reading news this weekend, I found Ble Sucré identified by Top Chefs as one bakery having the best pastries in Paris? …and the bakery’s best is their Madeleines!
Locations identified in “Dream Glasses” are real Parisian locations. The story is fictional. If you want an armchair trip to Paris and an easy read “Dream Glasses” is your ticket.
“Dream Glasses” is available on Amazon, both as a Kindle or print format. There are print copies available for sale in Carbondale, CO at Susan Flowers & Artisan Boutique and in Glenwood Springs, CO at the BookTrain.
The full article “The Best Bakeries in Paris, According to Top Chefs” by Kate Krader & Richard Vines was originally published April 17, 2018.
Stumbling upon these stories as my husband and I went through old papers provided rich insight into fascinating family history. As a writer, and a student of life I’m interested in travel and different cultures; people and relationships; natural beauty, creativity and how God works in these various aspects of life. These stories brought together so many of the things important to me and spoke to my soul. I felt I had to share them.
If you want to be notified when the book is available, please go to the “Sign Me Up” option on my blog and enter your information. The print version will be released first. I’m still pondering if this book will be available as a Kindle eBook.
I kicked off 2018 by cleaning my art room. I’m not sure if it’s the added organization in the room or simply spending time surrounded by art supplies that generated such a desire to create things. I’ve even been able to share my space and time with a friend creating cards.
Here is a sampling of some cards created during this time…
Then I decided to try something different. I have no idea what I’m going to use this for — maybe some day a children’s story.
What sparks your creativity? Are you willing to share some of the things you are working on?